Director of Operations, Calico Collaboration

Lake County, IL, US
Mar 17, 2019
Required Education
Masters Degree/MBA
Position Type
Full time
The Director of Operations for the Calico-AbbVie Joint Venture (at AbbVie) is responsible for overseeing all preclinical and early development operations and procedures, while operating in a collaborative environment that is unique to the biopharmaceutical industry. This is a key member of the Collaboration leadership team at AbbVie, accountable only to the overall Head of the Collaboration. This leadership position maintains control of complex, diverse business operations across all therapeutic and functional areas and sites at AbbVie.

Key Responsibilities:

  • Designs and implements business plans, procedures and strategies in the context of one of the most exciting and groundbreaking collaborations in the industry that is advancing cutting-edge science and defining a new field of R&D, while working alongside scientific giants who have already redefined the biotechnology industry.
  • Partners with Calico, other network institutions, and multiple AbbVie disciplines (Legal, BD, Development, Discovery, Operations, Asset Strategy) to help advance a portfolio of programs across age-related disease areas.
  • Leveraging scientific/medical with business backgrounds, oversees daily operations of the Collaboration and the work of senior collaboration leaders across functions (e.g., medicinal chemistry, structural biology, translational sciences, safety, toxicology, DMPK, pharmacology, biochemistry, project management, clinical, regulatory, therapeutic areas) and is comfortable pushing back when appropriate.
  • Assists Collaboration head with driving strategic direction and influences internal and external stakeholders, while managing relationships with external partners and vendors
  • Leads and oversees the strategic planning of all Collaboration-related internal and external Discovery and Early Development Staff meetings and strategic planning sessions across all areas and functions. Coordinates and sets agenda for Sr. Staff meetings and strategic extended staff forums. Drives preparation and follow-up actions across relevant Discovery and development functions.
  • Promotes culture and vision in a way that encourages maximum performance and dedication, while leading discovery and development project management resources to facilitate rapid advancement of novel and diverse Collaboration pipeline projects to clinical proof-of-concept in a constantly evolving environment.
  • Effectively frames complex issues for decision-makers and peers. Prepares and delivers effective presentations to Calico and AbbVie Leadership and draws upon personal knowledge of business processes, global regulations, organizational and communication mechanisms to propose and design innovative solutions.
  • Manages all aspects of the Calico-AbbVie Collaboration portfolio for AbbVie, including tracking mechanisms, resources and long-range planning, in alignment with Project Management and Finance for the Collaboration.
  • Maximizes opportunities to highlight best practices and shared learnings across all AbbVie and Calico sites and areas.

Level and compensation will be commensurate with experience.


  • Advanced degree (M.S. or Ph.D. science, business management)
  • MBA or Project Management Institute (PMI) Project Management Professional (PMP) certification preferred


  • Proven experience as Chief Operating Officer (Biotech) or Director of Operations (Biopharma) or similar relevant role
  • Understanding of key biopharmaceutical relevant business functions
  • 10+ years competency in strategic planning and business development preferred
  • 7+ years in a leadership role with outstanding organizational and leadership skills in pharmaceutical, healthcare or regulated industry highly preferred
  • Excellent mentoring and interpersonal communication (oral, written) and negotiation skills; able to leverage business principles to support enterprise initiatives
  • Aptitude in decision-making and problem-solving in a complex Collaboration environment while influencing multi-functional teams across disciplines, cultures, 3rd parties, and geographic locations
  • Ability to craft compelling business cases and effectively champion new ideas.

Key Leadership Competencies:

  • Builds strong relationships with peers and cross functionally with partners outside of team to enable higher performance.
  • Learns fast, grasps the "essence" and can change course quickly where indicated.
  • Raises the bar and is never satisfied with the status quo.
  • Creates a learning environment, open to suggestions and experimentation for improvement.
  • Embraces the ideas of others, nurtures innovation and manages innovation to reality.

Equal Opportunity Employer Minorities/Women/Veterans/Disabled